One guy is up. No, the other guy is up. Presidential polls? Nah, we’re talking about surveys in the mayor’s race, which have been widely divergent.

The latest poll, from the U-T and the University of San Diego, puts Republican Councilman Carl DeMaio in the top position. But there are several quirky things about this survey that make its conclusions questionable.

One of our favorite political scientists explains why the poll is unusual.

He Said, He Didn’t Say?

DeMaio’s campaign loves to mock rival Rep. Bob Filner’s alleged arrogance by recycling a supposed quote by the Democrat: “I’m a congressman and can do whatever I want.” But not only does Filner deny saying that, as our Liam Dillon reports in a new story, the quote on its own ignores crucial context.

It all has to do with an incident back in 2003 at an immigration detention center in El Centro. (Filner serves Imperial County in addition to part of San Diego County.)

Filner says he never said the words. That’s not surprising. But a reporter who was on the scene doesn’t recall them either, and the typical journalist’s head would snap almost clear off if he or she heard a quote like that.  

By the way, our City Hall reporter Liam Dillon is putting together a scorecard of the mayoral candidates on the issues. Let him know what you’d like to see covered.   

• Ray Ellis, the City Council candidate whose victory could swing the council to the GOP, won’t endorse in the mayor’s race. He tells us why — sort of.

Just How High Are Gas Taxes?

Talk about poor timing: I filled up my tank before gas prices started their dramatic dip. But it could be worse, at least according to state Sen. Juan Vargas: He went on TV and declared taxes on gas are only around 10 percent.

Fact Check TV follows up on our analysis of the claim and finds Vargas has his numbers wrong.

VOSD Radio: An Angry State Official

VOSD Radio tackles a state official’s disgust with the Poway school bond, the state of Balboa Park, the surprising Hero of the Week and more.

Programming note: VOSD Radio’s airtime has moved to Sundays 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on FM News and Talk 95.7 and AM 600 KOGO.

Letters: More U-T Cancellations, We’re ‘In the Tank’

Many readers of the U-T have cancelled their subscriptions in recent weeks, and a bunch of them have written letters to VOSD about their actions. (You can read them here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.)

Now we’ve published a couple more. Meanwhile, reader Ralph Sedgewick thinks we’re “in the tank” for DeMaio: “If I see Bob Filner get fact checked one more time I’m going to vomit!”

Also in letters, Lisa Berlanga, executive director of UPforEd, calls on voters to elect “the most qualified people to our school board willing to not only make the hard decisions, but who do so by putting students’ needs first.”

Reflections on an ‘Odyssey’

Evangeline Whitlock, the stage manager for last year’s community production of “Odyssey,” writes in a commentary that it “created a beautiful piece of theatre that answered questions woven into our city’s fabric: ‘Who are you? Where are you from? How did you get here?’”

Check our coverage of the production here.

Manchester Leads the VOSD Hit Parade

Doug Manchester showed up in another story last week, about his belief that he could rehab the Mission Valley football stadium for $200 million. (Yes, he’s the same guy who’s been pushing for a stadium on the waterfront.)

This story was the most popular on our site over the past week, followed by articles about the local U.S. attorney being miffed by a mayoral candidate and the prospects of a world-record short school year in San Diego. Here’s the full Top 10 List.   

Quick News Hits

• Will L.A. get an NFL team — the Chargers, perhaps — anytime soon? It doesn’t sound like it, CBS Sports reports: The league has “essentially ruled out a move for next season.”

• Construction on the plan to dramatically transform Balboa Park — and begin charging for some parking — won’t start until February at the earliest due to delays. (U-T)

Stick a Fork In It, Sculpture Is Done

An artist installed a six-foot-tall silver fork at a Carlsbad fork in the road the other day, and the sculpture attracted the attention of CNN after an amused passerby shot photos of it.

Alas, the city declared the fork to be a potential hazard (never mind that it does nothing about the distracting sights near the beach in the summer) and removed it.

Johnny Carson used to joke about roads, telling viewers what to do when you reach the Slauson cut-off (cut off your Slauson!) and the fork in the road (pick it up).

It’s too bad Carlsbad took his advice.

Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at and follow him on Twitter:

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

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